Telecom major Bharti Airtel has launched Digital TV services on mobile phones through an Android app called 'Pocket TV', offering consumers live content from over 150 channels on the go. The company also announced the launch of paper recharge coupon with a Quick Response code.
While downloading the app is free, customers have to pay Rs 60 per month to subscribe to the service, which is restricted to existing Airtel Digital TV subscribers. The service will also let its viewers watch earlier episodes on more than 13 channels, filter channels & videos by genre, go through a programming guide, and set favourite channels for easy access.
The app also has a recommendation zone that lists top viewed, newly added and top rated content, apart from letting you set alarms for shows you want to watch in the future. Earlier, viewers had to rely on an app called 'What's-on-India', an electronic programme guide for recommendations.
While Pocket TV is available only for Android as of now, an iOS app for the same is expected to launch within a month. Currently being offered to Airtel prepaid mobile customers in Andhra Pradesh, the 'Smart Pack' provides a convenience factor for customers to recharge their phones within seconds by scanning the QR code- hence removing the hassle of entering the 16 digit PIN after scratching the coupon.
For the same, users have to install 'QR Code Reader' app on their Android phone, scratch the recharge coupon to reveal a QR code, scan the code with the app and click 'ok' to finalise and approve recharge. The Smart Pack is currently available on a recharge coupon of Rs 25 and will also offer customers an option to choose either 2G or 3G benefits on the same pack.
Airtel competes with Dish TV and Tata Sky, which have an estimated 12 million and 11 million plus customers each, respectively. Apart from these services, it also competes against video streaming services such as Times Internet's BoxTV, Multi Screen Media's Sony LIV, Spuul.com and DigiVive. Sony LIV recently announced its distribution partnership with BoxTV to offer its video content globally. Also, Sun TV had recently inked agreements to offer content from on its television channel Sun TV on YouTube and iTunes globally on a pay-per-view basis.